By Web Master, 3-02-12
A couple of the windows in our mountain house are rattling against the wind today. I am hunkered down in my warm office working on my autobiography and have finally passed the 1965 year mark after a couple years of pounding on my computer.
Is it hard work? I guess no, because I am getting so much enjoyment out of documenting my life up until now. I have no idea when I will finally get it all down on paper, but I do know that it will get done. Many of the memories I am recalling with the aid of three-ring binders full of notes.
It also helps to talk to some of my old friends in the ski business, but unfortunately most of them are no longer with us. But I did talk yesterday with Dave McCoy who built Mammoth Mountain. He’s 97 years old and out almost every day taking photos as he and his wife, Roma, cruise across the desert in their solar-powered Rhino. (For you folks who don’t know what a Rhino is, it is like a golf cart on steroids.) It is always a real pleasure to talk with him and view his wonderful photos of the Eastern Sierra on his website, davemccoyphotos.com. Take a look. You will enjoy the images.
We talked about Emile Allais who was the ski school director when I taught for him that first year Squaw Valley was open in 1950. Last week Emile celebrated his 100th birthday in his hometown of Megeve, France. Both Emile and Dave have a couple things in common: Their love of the mountains, skiing and neither one of them has ever smoked or had to process any alcohol in their bodies. Maybe that is why I am still able to get up in the morning and cook yet another bowl of oatmeal and come up here and work on my word processor all day, because I, too, have never had a cigarette or a drink of alcohol.
In working on my autobiography, I long ago discovered my camera was a magnet that attracted the world’s best skiers over the years. Thirty or more years ago I could spend the first three or four days filming a group of beginners and there was very little improvement in their ability. Today, with the improvement in skis, you have to film them within an hour when they first start down the hill on their first run of their life. Skis have become so user-friendly that most people can get down from the summit of Mount Pleasant their first day on skis and do it before lunchtime.
I recently wrote an entire chapter on ski equipment and its evolution. I have been back to ski all over the world and observe the changes as they have happened in today’s world.
Yes, I have thousands of pages of good memories to write about in my autobiography. When will it be finished you ask? I don’t know. It will be done when I finish it. Sooner if the electricity doesn’t go off too often, and later if it does.
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